The trip started off grandly enough with the PCs meeting for the first time at the Eastwatch Inn outside the walled city of Arabel. Khevar Copperbottom spared no expense on drink and food and wished them to get to know one another better before their trek began.
Solon found out his skills with animals would come in very handy as Khevar had several expensive hunting falcons that needed to be maintained and kept up on their training. It meant more money in his pocket for the journey, and he got to do something he enjoyed.
With Bardel singing great songs of adventure and valor the evening passed very well for the most part. Nathan Tithim seemed to have an issue with fleas in his bed, but he attempted to hide his discomfort from his companions. (Little did he realize insulting the patron deity Tymora, Goddess of Luck, and the patron deity of Arabel itself would come back to haunt him that very night. It is not prudent to blaspheme around devout worshipers, and sometime keeping your mouth shut is the best course of action).
The 5 1/2 day journey north by oxen drawn wagons was slow and very boring. The companions got to know each other better and freely mingled with the other hired guards. Bardel and the tiefling Kahlsala seemed to hit it off very well, and the rest of the group had to deal with some flirtation between the two.
On their second evening they made camp with several other wagon caravans and got involved in some friendly wrestling matches.
Well…friendly until Vic’Ira challenged another guard from a different caravan to a boxing match. The guard turned out to be a drunk barbarian who beat him within an inch of his life and Corrick had to work his healing arts to bring the elf back around.
Upset about the vagrant lack of honor during a simple boxing match (the barbarian was out to kill him from the start it seemed) he was wise enough to let the matter drop.
Arriving in Tilverton without any real problems seemed like a blessing. Even Khevar was pleased they made it though the eastern end of the StoneLands without incident and continued to believe Lady Luck was smiling on them.
He allowed the PCs to take a rest and ordered them to return to the warehouse within four hours to relive the other caravan guards.
The Scarlet Lady tavern seemed like a good place to wet their thirst and maybe look for a little entertainment. Unfortunately they got much more than they bargained for.
Corrick, their handsome cleric of Lathander, caught the eye of a prostitute named Maribell on the way into the tavern. Ever the gentelman, Corrick politely refused her offer of companionship, but gave her some coin anyway.
A considerable amount of coin actually. Which caught the attention of all the other prostitutes and their pimp Rusty.
Ever a greedy soul, Rusty attempted to extort money from the cleric and actually succeeded. However he could not leave well enough alone when he realized his best prostitute seemed to have a genuine liking for the young man.
Things got serious! Blades were drawn, bodies hit the dirt, and Rusty and his goons died violently in the street.
Things got even more complicated when Jessip Genny (the local Sheriff) showed up with a great many heavily armed guards and took them into custody until the matter could be ‘sorted out’. Which meant nothing more than he was able to extort Khevar Copperbottom into paying a good sum of money to get them out of jail, and get them to leave Tilverton that very day.
Not happy at all about the situation (and about now having to employ a prostitute out of pitty for her) but having managed to attain the extra goods he wanted for shipment to Shadowdale, he packed his caravan and headed out of town before the Rogues of Tilverton came looking for payback against his group for killing some of their members.
On the road north they ran into a large group of organized bandits led by a violent half-orc named Krulgen. Krulgen seemed to know Bardel, and the PCs put together that their friendly Bardel was none other than Ghellis ‘The Clever’, a bandit leader that was responsible for robbing several caravans on the road (albiet without any deaths or serious injuries to those merchants or their men).
After a vicious and intese fight that saw all of the bandits die along with Krulgen, the PCs took some time to deal with their dead before getting back to their journey.
Among the fallen was Corrick, their brave cleric who battled to the last to keep as many alive as he could before being cut down by the half-orc. Everyone in the caravan owed their lives to their loyal companion, both for his bravery, and the powerful healing magic he commanded.
During the mourning of their friend, Bardel (aka Ghellis) slipped away without a sound before they could confront him.
Bitter, bloody, and now more determined than ever to reach Shadowdale they pressed on.
And at last, 10 1/2 days since they left Arabel, the group rolled into Shadowdale with the last days light fading around them.
All were eager to get their wages which they had earned with their own sweat and blood, and to finally be able to get a bath and sleep in a comfortable bed after over ten days of being on the road.